Here’s the second installment of the three part saga of deciding whether to coach your clients or to train them. Learn when to coach your people and when to provide sales training.
These three blogs detail how you can handle some common training and coaching scenarios that many managers find themselves in and the most appropriate approach to take in these situations as it relates to how you can best support your people in a way that achieves the results you want and need.
Nine months into the training, Samantha’s boss was questioning whether or not she would make the cut for the long haul. Out of the initial ten new recruits that completed the week long training, practically nine months to the date, Samantha was one of the only two that has made it this far. When it comes to being an executive recruiter, one message that was continually being reinforced into Sam’s head was that if you can make it a year, and build up your book of business, you can survive the initial hurdle and start developing a successful career.
But nine months into her new career, what started as a strong and promising leap right out of the gate, securing three top accounts that she has been relying too heavily on to make her numbers each month, is now appearing to come to a slow and painful halt. One of the three large clients left her and the other two are slowing down their recruiting efforts. Here’s the thing, though. Samantha was on the phone practically every day making the calls she knew she needed to make in order to survive this first year.
Samantha proved early on she could be successful at cold calling for new clients. She also had the evidence behind her to support this claim. Her initial four month’s book of business provided her with the volume to make her monthly sales quota. While Samantha was still making her daily number of cold calls, she was no longer getting the strong results she was when she first started out. Moreover, her boss noticed how stressed out Sam was as a result of all this. For these reasons, The Gap is actually a combination of training and coaching.
Training and Coaching Solution:
In a case like this with Samantha, the solution may be more of a multi-faceted one that approaches her situation from a few different angles. Here are just four approaches to explore, diagnose and uncover different ways that you can coach and support Sam.
First, if Sam’s approach was working when she started nine months ago and it’s no longer working today, then something had to change. Her boss noticed Sam didn’t have a templated process that she following and more or less ‘winged’ her calls, shooting proverbially from the hip. Consequently, she was moving farther away from what had initially worked for her. Thus, having Sam work off a proven template that’s documented and in front of her so that she can create a level of consistency in her selling efforts is one part of this solution.
Second, this fine tuning of her approach and putting it in an actionable, step by step process will eliminate any inconsistency and allow her to best manage what approach works best.
Third, Samantha appears to be fueled and driven by fear and consequence. That is, the loss of her job! Being driven by consequence and scarcity – what you don’t want to happen, is a negative source of energy that dilutes not only the impact of your selling efforts but the quality of your life.
Here, Sam needs to be coached on developing a new way of thinking, one that empowers her, lifts her spirits and focuses on her goals and dreams more than her fears and consequences.
Finally, is Samantha in need of some new resources? That is, where is Sam mining for new business? Does she need to look at alternative ways to prospect? Does she need a revised call list? Is she maximizing the lifetime value of every client she’s working with through upselling opportunities and referrals? These are just a few of the components of her sales engine that you can put a magnifying glass over to take a look at a deeper level in order to diagnose exactly what is going on.
Photo Credit: Werner Kunz